A Poem by David Landers

The pure sky arches over, the green Downs roll before,
but I watch cows – crowded, dung-spattered, agog.
Wet breath gathers over, shit runs beneath.

The moaning herd cranes over its fence, lures me close.
I approach, cool and human.
They crowd in meaty, stinking.

Their eyes beg. I know what they want and offer to take dictation.
They gasp. At last, they say, we’ve been recognized.
My pen is poised, but they see my camera and preen.

Wire strains, posts lean dangerously out,
they slobber for images, jostle closer yet,
for now they are starlets, whores for the lens, hungry, huge-eyed.

Taut udders quake, pretty ankles slop in shit.
Dung is the red carpet and me a paparazzo,
others are elbowed aside, the moment seized.
Poses are pitch perfect. They roll eyes, slide wet tongues
over swollen lips, grind meaty haunches, moo.

I am done. I close the camera and get on my bike.
I hear, “That all? That it? So, fuck off, camera boy.”

They’ve turned, tits swaying. A disgruntled mob,
they slouch, shitting, to the skyline.

I grab the camera, clumsy in my haste. My last image shows
the Hollywood cows ascending the ridge into sunset.

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